The New Jerusalem



Dr. John Hoole - Nov. 2 & 9, 2014




The Lord has allowed me to visit many of the world’s great cities.  I have been to places like Tokyo, Japan – Seoul, Korea – New Delhi, India – Rome, Italy – London, England – Istanbul. Turkey – Manila, Philippines – Cairo, Egypt, Prague, Czech Republic.


And yet, every Christian is a citizen of a heavenly city (Philippians 3:20).  This is a city more dazzling and beautiful than any on earth has ever seen.  Heaven’s capital city will be filled with visual magnificence.


God himself prepared mankind’s first home on Earth.


Genesis 2:8-9 NKJV


8       The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

9       And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.


The phrase “planted a garden” shows God’s personal touch, his intimate interest, in the creative details of mankind’s home.  In the same way that God paid attention to the details of the home He prepared for Adam and Eve, Christ is paying attention to the details as he prepares for us an eternal home in Heaven.


If He prepared Eden so carefully and lavishly for mankind in the six days of creation, what has He fashioned in the place he’s been preparing for us in the 2,000 years since he left this world?  Now that we are both his children and his bride, would we expect more or less than Eden?  More, of course – and that is exactly what the New Earth and the New Jerusalem will be.


We have never seen men and women as they were intended to be.  We’ve never seen animals the way they were before the Fall.  We see only marred remnants of what once was.


Likewise, we have never seen nature unchained and undiminished.  We’ve only seen it cursed and decaying.  Yet even now we see a great deal that pleases and excites us, moving our hearts to worship Him.  If the “wrong side” of creation under the curse can be so beautiful, what will the “right side” look like.  What will it look like when everything is restored?




The first thing we are told is that the New Jerusalem is “coming down out of heaven.”


Revelation 21:2, 10 NKJV


  2       Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.


10     And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,


While these passages tell us the New Jerusalem is seen by John coming down from Heaven, it is not revealed whether it comes to rest on the earth or stays aloft like the moon.  John Walvoord, in his commentary on Revelation proposes:


         “The fact that it has foundations and comes from heaven to the earth seems to imply that it rests on the new earth itself.”


                   He continues to say: “This is also implied in the fact that people go in and out of the gates.”


The New Jerusalem will be a place of extravagant beauty and natural wonders.  It will be a vast Eden, - a paradise beyond description, under the reign of Christ.  More wealth than has been accumulated in all human history will be spread freely across the immense city.


Revelation 21:11 NKJV


11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.


Its streets shimmer with gold and its jeweled walls and foundations glow in a spectrum of color.  We are told that it is free from evil of all kinds, and nothing in it will ever tarnish or decay.


Scripture describes Heaven as both a country (Luke 19:12); Hebrews 11:14-16) and a city (Hebrews 12:22; 13:14; Revelation 21:2).  15 times in Revelation 21 & 22 the place God and his people will live together is called a city.  The repetition of the word and the detailed description of the architecture, its walls, streets and other features suggest that the term city is not merely a figure of speech but a literal geographical location.  And when we are resurrected with a physical body, we would expect to live in a physical place.


Everyone knows what a city is – a place with buildings, streets, and residences occupied by people and subject to a common government.  Cities have inhabitants, visitors, bustling activity, cultural events, and gatherings involving music, the arts, education, religion, entertainment, and athletics.  The city at the center of the future Heavens is called the New Jerusalem.


Let’s read what the apostle John says about this city.


Revelation 21:1-7 NKJV


1       I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

2       Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3       And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

4       And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5       Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6       And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

7       He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.


In verse 6, Jesus calls Himself the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.”  He repeats that description of Himself in the next chapter, verse 13.  Most of us know something about the beginning.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  (Genesis 1:1)


But this morning, I want us to think about and discuss the Omega – that is the end.  But it’s actually an ending without an end.  We enter our eternal state, in the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and all who love Him.


The final two chapters of the Bible takes us to the ultimate prophetic vision.  They take us to eternity.


It is unlikely we can fully fathom what eternity means.  The Bible is a book of eternity.  Psalm 119:89 tells us God’s Word is forever settled in Heaven.  In fact, the words “forever” and “everlasting” and others similar words are found more than 600 times in the Bible.  Sometimes the writers of Scripture make the concept even more complete by combining words like “forever and ever,” or “from everlasting to everlasting.”


The first of such phrases is found in the book of Exodus.


Exodus 15:18 NKJV


18     "The Lord shall reign forever and ever."


                   Our God is the eternal King of all creation.


The last of such phrases is found in Revelation 22:5, the last chapter in the Bible.


         “They shall reign forever and ever.”


Beyond the Great Tribulation that will come to try those living on the earth beyond the 1,000-year reign of Christ, beyond all judgments of the saved or unsaved, lies the final reality – the eternal state of the believers.


Once again, these chapters are a powerful reminder that this present world is not the end.  There is indeed a new world coming where God is in complete control, and wherein dwells righteousness.  Even the blessings of the coming reign of Christ for 1,000 years cannot compare with the glorious eternity that awaits the children of God.


If we live as if this world is all there is, we will surely be disappointed in what it gives us.  That is why these concluding chapters of the Apocalypse are so important.  They take our focus off everything that is temporal and place it on that which is eternal.


I pray that God will open our eyes to a glorious vision of our future home – The New Jerusalem.  We are going to spend a lot of time there after we arrive.  The New Jerusalem is mentioned a number of time prior to the time when John records the visions he was given.


Nearly 4,000 years ago, Abraham “was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  (Hebrews 11:10)


         Elsewhere, the writer of the book of Hebrews exhorts us.


Hebrews 13:14  (NIV)


14     For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.


Hebrews 11:16 NASU


16     But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.


                            God has prepared this heavenly city for all who love Him.


Hebrews 12:22  (NIV)


22     But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,


The Bible reveals that there are two Jerusalems that should occupy the thoughts and prayers of God’s people.  These two cities should also be in the minds of students of prophecy.


Not only on this earth is there a Jerusalem, called in Hebrew Yerushalayim Shel Matta – Jerusalem the Lower.  But there is also in heaven a city, Yerushalayim Shel Maalah – Jerusalem the Upper.


One Jerusalem is an earthly city……and the other is a heavenly Jerusalem.  And both are part of our promised future.  In Galatians 4:25-26, Paul reveals both of these when he speaks of the present Jerusalem” and “the Jerusalem above.”  Likewise, the book of Revelation mentions both “the holy city…given to the nations”…to ... “tread under foot,” (Revelation 11:2)as well as “the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven.”  (Revelation 21:2)


John also mentions this city earlier in the book of Revelation.


Revelation 3:12 (NIV)


12     Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.


John tells us there will be a beautiful and magnificent new Jerusalem.  He was so moved by its splendor that he compared it to the beauty of a bride.  But the revelation John received was not limited to his sight alone.


Revelation 21:3 says,


         And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.


So, in the New Jerusalem, we will enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with God who will live with us.


Let’s look at one more Passage, spoken by Christ Himself, that I believe speaks of this city.


John 14:2-3  (NKJV)


2       In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3       And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.


Jesus tells us in this Passage that there are plenty of dwelling places in His Father’s house.  Then He says that He is leaving so He can build and prepare a place for His bride.  It is my opinion that the place He has been preparing for the last 2,000 years is none other than the believer’s dwelling places in the New Jerusalem.  This is the place where Christ, the Groom, will live forever with his bride.  So will God the Father.  Undoubtedly the Holy Spirit will also be present, but we are not specifically told.


Now, let’s go with the apostle John and one of God’s angels to a very high mountain Revelation 21:10.  From there we will get a clear view of the Holy City.


We are immediately swept up into the grandeur of this brand-new world.  It is beyond anything of mere human imagination.  In these last two chapters of the Bible, we are given the most detailed account in the Bible of what Heaven will be like.


Let’s get into the details of this city.  We must keep in mind that this city is unlike any city known to man today.  This is true not only in os gargantuan size, but its volume as well.  Its length, width, and height are equal.




Let’s look at the size first.


Revelation 21:16 NKJV


16     The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.


12,000 furlongs is about 1,500 miles.  But, do all Bible scholars agree with that.  No,       And not all Bible translations agree with that.  Look at how this verse reads in other translations.


Revelation 21:16  (NIV)


16     The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long.


                   The RSV also reads 12,000 stadia.


The NAS and the NASU omits 12,000 of anything.


16     The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.


The ASV and the KJV reads 12,000 furlongs.


The differences between these translations hinges on whether the verse is translated furlong or stadia.  12,000 stadia equals about 1,380 miles.  12,000 furlongs equals about 1,500 miles.


This issue hinges on what the distance of a stadia was at the time of John’s writing.  During the Greek and Roman periods, the stadia was equal to 600 Greek feet, but that is equal to 625 Roman feet.  But both of these are different from the English foot.  So most have settled on this equation:  The stadia is equal to one-eighth of a mile, which would make it the same length as a furlong.  And if a stadia and furlong equals one-eighth of a mile, then 12,000 of them equals 1,500 miles


Let me give you an illustration of comparable size to this city.  Assume that when the New Jerusalem descends from heaven, that it covers part of the United States.  This is only an illustration – since there are no seas in the New Earth.


But, assuming it does;


         •  Its western wall would reach from southwest of San Diego to Vancouver B.C.


         •  Its northern wall would reach from Vancouver B.C. to Winnipeg.


         •  Its eastern wall would reach from Winnipeg to Houston, Texas.


         •  And its southern wall would reach from Houston to southwest of San Diego.


That’s nearly two-thirds of the total area of the United States.  And that’s only the ground floor of this great city.  It reaches 1,500 miles high as well.


I want to mention one further item relative to the measurement of the New Jerusalem.  A moment ago, we read Revelation 21:16 in the New American Standard translation. 


16     The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.


Although 1,500 miles is easier for most Bible readers to understand, it also reduces our understanding of the importance of numbers in the Bible.  Fortunately, most translations leave the number 12,000 in this verse.  All God’s ways are perfect.  His works are perfect and His words are perfect.  There is also perfection in His use of numbers.


The number system in both Greek and Hebrew are tied to their alphabet.


         In Hebrew, Aleph=1; Beth=2, etc.

         In Greek, Alpha=1; Beta=2, etc.


Greek and Hebrew are the only two languages who do not have a number system separate from their alphabet.  In scripture, numbers generally have more significance than their quantitative value.  Most of you are aware that the number 7 is considered an indicator of perfection or completion.


It is obvious the number twelve takes on great significance in the book of Revelation.  Actually, the number 12 can be found in 187 places in the Bible.  But in Revelation alone, we find 22 occurrences of the number.


The number 12 appears repeatedly in final 2 chapters of the Bible.


                   •  12,000 Stadia or Furlongs

                   •  144 cubits  (12 squared)

                   •  12 gates

                   •  12 foundations

                   •  12 angels

                   •  12 kinds of fruit

                   •  12 apostles

                   •  12 pearls


The number 12 in Scripture symbolizes government – usually divine government.  The New Jerusalem, then, is the complete fulfillment of the prophetic words of Isaiah:  “The government will be on his shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).


Now, how about the shape of the New Jerusalem.  As we just read in Revelation 21:16, the length, width and height of it are equal.  The first object that comes to mind is the cube.  But the shape of a pyramid would fit that description as well.  This would have certain advantages because it provides a vehicle for the river of life to proceed out of the throne of God, which seems to be at the top.  This could bring up another question – Is there gravity in the New Jerusalem?


Still others see the city as a mountain.  To be frank, there is no way to know for sure.  But, if you were to ask me, this is one on which I do have an opinion.


I would lean towards the shape of the New Jerusalem being a cube.  Here are two reasons.


1.      Several translations use the phrase “the city lies foursquare.”  This word lends itself more to a cube.


2.      I believe the Bible uses repeated patterns and shapes.  The only other perfect cube mentioned in the Bible is the Holy of Holies.  In the temple it was 20 cubits long, wide and high.


The only thing visible from the inside of the Holy of Holies was gold.  The walls were covered with gold.  The Ark of the Covenant was covered with gold.  This is similar to the New Jerusalem.  Revelation 21:18 says, “the city was pure gold.”


What was the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple?  It was the place where God dwelt in the presence of His people.  And the New Jerusalem is a place where God will dwell with His people.


Now let’s look at the rest of the details given about this great city.




1.    The Gates


What are we told about the gates of the New Jerusalem?


                   •  12 gates in all  (21:12).


                   •  Names of the 12 tribes of Israel are inscribed on the gates  (21:12).


                   •  3 gates are on each side of the city – north, east, south, west  (21:13).


                   •  Each gate is made of a single pearl.  (21:21).


                   •  The gates will never be closed  (2   1:25).


                   •  An angel is located at each gate  (21:12).


The angels are not stationed at each gate to guard the city.  Most likely, they are there to serve God’s people  (Hebrews 1:14).  By the way, there is no mention of St. Peter at any of these gates.


Let’s go back to the gates always being open,  The stated reason for leaving them open is that there is no night there (Revelation 21:25).  In ancient times, it was necessary to shut the gates of cities at night, to keep the city from being overtaken by evil invaders during the night.  Gates were part of the city’s security.  However, there will never, ever be any external threat to those who dwell within this city.  Satan, demons, and unbelievers will be in eternal quarantine in the lake of fire.  Besides, God Himself will dwell within the city, so who would dare attack it?


I want to add something about the gates being made of pearl.  All other precious gems are metals or stones.  But the pearl is a gem formed within the oyster.  It is the only gem formed by living flesh.


The oyster receives an irritation or a wound, and around the offending article that has penetrated and hurt it, the oyster builds a pearl.  The pearl, we might say, is the oyster’s answer to that which injured it.


The New Jerusalem is God’s answer, in Christ, to wicked men who crucified heaven’s beloved and put Him to open shame.  How like God it is to make the gates of the New Jerusalem of pearl.  The saints, as they come and go, will be forever reminded, as we pass the gates, that access to God’s home is only because of Calvary.  It is made possible only because Christ suffered.


The size of each pearl in the New Jerusalem is representative of the great suffering born by our Lord.  Those pearls, hung eternally at the access routes to glory, will forever remind us of One who hung upon a tree.


The Walls


                   •  There are 12 foundations under the wall  (21:14)


                   •  There are 12 gates in the wall (21:12).


                   •  The wall is made of jasper  (21:18) – as clear as crystal  (21:11).


                   •  The measurement of the wall is 144 cubits (or 216 feet.)  (21:17)


Look at the way the King James renders this measurement.


Revelation 21:17 KJV


17     And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.


From this translation, one is not sure whether the measurement is the height or the thickness of the wall.  The NIV comes out and specifically states it is measuring the wall’s thickness.


Rev 21:17


17     He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using.


                            The NIV does add a footnote saying it could be “height” rather than “thickness.”


Most Bible translations leave the passage as similar to the KJV, that is, not specifying if the 144 cubits is speaking of the height or width.  The New Living Translation, and The Message Bible, follow the NIV, putting it as “thickness.”  The New Century Version, Good News Translation and todays English Version identify it as the wall height.  Another 22 translations which I have on my Bible software, gives no indication.


The Foundation


The names of the 12 apostles are inscribed on the 12 foundations.  It is interesting  to ponder what John’s reaction might have been when he saw his own name inscribed on one of the foundations.  What a thrill it must have been.


Each foundation was a precious gems  (21:19)


                   •  Jasper                               Diamond

                   •  Sapphire                         Deep blue

                   •  Chalcedony                  Green  (agate)

                   •  Emerald                         Green

                   •  Sardonyx                       Layered stone of red

                   •  Sardius                           Blood red  (Carnelian)

                   •  Chrysolyte                     Golden yellow

                   •  Beryl                                Sea green

                   •  Topaz                               Greenish gold or yellow

                   •  Chrysoprasus               Gold green

                   •  Jacinth                            Gold violet

                   •  Amethyst                       Purple quartz


As I thought about the 12 stones making up the 12 foundations, my mind went to another biblical object having 12 stones in it.




           I am speaking of the breastplate worn by the high priest.


The priest’s breastplate has four rows of stones, each row having three stones.  When I first looked at this picture, it looked different that I expected.  Then I realized it was backwards – left to right – because Hebrew is written right to left.


In Exodus 28:15-21, we are given the 12 stones of the breastplate, and the order in which they would appear.


Eight stones are mentioned in both lists, although not necessarily in the same order.  Two of the stones in the breastplate probably can be linked to two in Revelation 21, but by a different name.  The other two couldn’t be matched.


Unlike the 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem, which are engraved with the names of the apostles, The 12 stones of the Priest’s breastplate are inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes.


As I was looking at this part of the city’s description, I began to wonder.  What did John think when Jesus told him his name will be attached to one of the gates?  That question led to other questions related to John.  What did John think when told the New Earth would have no seas?  He was on an island in the middle of a sea, and that sea essentially kept him from seeing his spiritual children.


The Temple


         •  There is no temple in the New Jerusalem  (21:22)


         •  God and the Lamb of God is the temple  (21:22).


The most important structure in the old Jerusalem was the Temple, where the priests and the people worshipped God.  In the Church age, God’s people are His temple.  He lives within each believer.  During the 1,000 year reign of Christ, the temple will be a memorial.  In the New Jerusalem, there will be no need for an individual building to worship God.  His dwelling with man will no longer need to be symbolized through a physical temple.  We will worship and fellowship with him deeply through the temple of our hearts.


The Sun & Moon


There will be no need of the sun or moon, or any artificial lighting.  That is because the glory of God and the Lamb will fill the heavenly city.  The Lord declared through Isaiah: “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee:  but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” (Isaiah 60:19).


Jesus proclaimed in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  We as believers are heirs of that eternal glory, for “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).  There will be no darkness to cast its shadowy gloom in the heavenly city.  There is no need for either the sun or the moon, at least in the city, for the glory of God is the light  (21:23).


In other places in the Bible, we are told:


         •  God is light, and in him is no darkness at all  - 1 John 1:5


         •  Christ is said to be “the brightness of his glory”Hebrews 1:2-3


God Himself will provide sufficient light by His very presence.  Several times Revelation 21:22-24 declares that God will be the light of this city.


Lehman Strauss writes:


“In that city which Christ has prepared for His own there will be no created light, simply because Christ Himself, who is the uncreated light (John 8:12), will be there.  The created lights of God and of men are as darkness when compared with our Blessed Lord.  The light He defuses throughout eternity is the unclouded, undimmed glory of His own Holy presence.”


The New Jerusalem will manifest the glory of God.  The city does not originate its light or radiance.  All illumination comes from the Lamb.  Today, the believer in Christ does not generate the light of Christ, but we should both reflect and transmit its glory without blurring the beauty and loveliness of Christ.


The Night


There will be no night there  (21:25).  As a consequence of the fullness of the radiant light of Christ, there shall be no night.  Think of it! – no darkness forever.


The Rivers


Revelation 22:1 NKJV


1.      And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.


Here is what the apostle John says he sees in the city:


                   •  The river flows out from the throne of God  (22:1).

                   •  The river is clear as crystal (22:1).

                   •  The river is called the “river of life”  (22:1, 17).


In the Old Testament, Ezekiel saw the river proceeding out from under the doorway of the millennial temple (Ezekiel 47:1).  John views this river of life issuing forth from th throne of God and the Lamb.  In the first paradise – the Garden of Eden – a river is described which divides into four tributaries (Genesis 2:10-14).  Jesus was crucified in the midst of a garden (John 19:41).  And from His pierced side a fountainhead of redemption has issued forth to all mankind.


Earlier in the book of Revelation we are also told:


Revelation 7:17 NASU


17     for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life;…


There are springs (NKJV= fountains) of living water.  Some believe there are at least 12 rivers, each flowing down the center of each street, from the throne through each of the 12 gates.


William Hendriksen suggests:


“The term ‘tree of life’ is collective, just like ‘avenue’ and ‘river.’  The idea is not that there is just one single tree.  No, there is an entire park: whole rows of trees alongside the river; hence, between the river and the avenue.  And this is true with respect to all the avenues of the city.  Hence, the city is just full of parks, cr. Rev. 2:7.  Observe, therefore, this wonderful truth:  the city is full of rivers of life.  It is also full of parks containing trees of life.  The trees, moreover, are full of fruit.”


Let me comment again on the fact that the river has as its source the throne of God, occupied by the Lamb.  He is the source of all natural beauties and wonders.  They derive their beauty from the Artist.


For the believer in the Church today, our hearts are God’s throne.  And a river should flow from that internal throne as well.


John 7:38 NKJV


38     He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."


The Tree of Life


Revelation 22:1-2 NKJV


2       In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.


The tree of life is mentioned three times in Genesis 2, in Eden, and again four times in the Book of Revelation, three of those in the final chapter.  Those in Revelation seem to  refer back to Eden’s literal tree of life.  We are told the tree of life is presently in Paradise.  Adam and Eve, after they sinned, were barred from the Tree of Life, which seems to be relocated in heaven.  But one day it will be brought back to earth in the New Jerusalem.  Yes, paradise was once lost, but it will be restored in our new home.


What more are we told about the tree of life?


                   •  They line both sides of the river (22:2). (See Ezekiel 47:12)


                   •  The trees bear 12 manner of fruit, yielding fruit each month  (22:2).


Revelation 2:7 NKJV


7       He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."'


The tree will not produce just one fruit but twelve.  The newness and freshness of Heaven is demonstrated in the monthly yield of fruit.  The fruit is not just to be admired but consumed.


         •  The leaves of the trees are for the healing  (Therapeia – serving, care) of the nations  (22:2).


         •  We will have access to the Tree of Life  (22:14).


The City


Before continuing in our investigation of the New Jerusalem, I believe we should take the detailed descriptions at face value.  In other words, the New Jerusalem will be a solid, permanent city.  Its walls, gates and streets should be taken literally.


The biblical concept of heaven and the New Jerusalem as a literal place is very different from Hindu conception of a blank Nirvana.  Man has never known a community unmarred by sin.  Adam and Eve only knew a limited community, and a larger community only came after their Fall into sin.  Here, in the New Jerusalem, we have something totally unique.  It will be a sinless, pure community of righteousness – a Holy City.


I say all this to make this point.  When mankind tries to make peace around the world using human efforts, they will never achieve what will be experienced in the New Jerusalem.  Real peace will come only when the Prince of Peace comes to this earth to reign.


In Revelation 21:1-2 we find heaven described as the “holy city.”  This is a fitting description.  It is, indeed, a city where there will be no sin or unrighteousness of any kind.  Only the pure of heart will dwell there.


This does not mean you and I must personally attain moral perfection in order to live there.  Those of us who believe in Christ have been given the very righteousness of Christ.  Because Christ took our sins upon Himself at the cross for us, we have been made holy (Hebrews 10:14).  Hence, we will have the privilege of living for all eternity in the Holy City.


If we peer over the walls, we find that the city and the streets are made of gold .


         •  It will be adorned like a bride  (21:2).


         •  It will descend out of heaven  (21:10).


         •  It will be filled with the glory of God  (21:11).


So pure is it that it appears like clear glass.  I don’t know how gold can be clear, but in heaven we will find out.


The Throne


The fact that the water is flowing down from it suggests the throne’s high elevation.


Revelation 22:1 & 3 NKJV


1       And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

3       And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.


In the 1,000 year reign of Christ, there is a partial lifting of the curse upon the earth.  In the millennium, it is still possible for a “sinner” to be “accursed” (Isaiah 65:20), which resulting in physical death.  In the new heaven and the new earth, there will be no curse at all and no possibility or need of such divine punishment.  The broad statement is justified by the fact that the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the new Jerusalem.


The detailed description of this city, make me have no doubt that this is a real, tangible city.  We saints of God will eat the fruit and drink the water in real, physical, resurrected bodies.  Our hands will touch the cheeks of our loved one.  Our arms will embrace them again.


While I believe that the New Jerusalem is a real, tangible city, just as Seattle, Tokyo or London, all the great cities of this present world are mere villages when compared to our future dwelling place.


It Is Done!


Let me finish by looking at a phrase written in Revelation 21:6.


Revelation 21:6 NKJV


6       And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.


Notice that phrase, It is done.”  This phrase is found two other times in the New Testament.

1.   On the cross, when atonement was paid in full  (John 19:30).

2.   At Armageddon, where judgment of the nations is irrevocable.  (Revelation 16:17)


3.   The last time, here, at the dawn of eternity  (Revelation 21:6).


An unknown devotional writer has said:  “Heaven is a place of complete victory and triumph.”


                   THIS is the battlefield                                              THERE is the triumphal procession


                   THIS is the land of the sword and spear            THERE is the land of the wreath and crown


Someday, according to 1 Peter 1:4, we will receive “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.”  Someday the suffering and pain of this world will be over, and we will be with God forever in heaven.